Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez headed to first MLB All-Star Game

Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates with Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins after his two run home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 04, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.  ((Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Twins have a 4.5-game lead on the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central Division, and they’ll be sending at least two players to next week’s mid-summer classic.

The Twins on Sunday, before beating the Texas Rangers 6-5, learned center fielder Byron Buxton and infielder Luis Arraez were selected to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Both will represent the Twins as first-time All-Stars in Los Angeles on July 19 at Dodger Stadium. Both were selected as reserves for the AL squad.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli announced the team’s All-Stars in the clubhouse before Sunday’s game, and Arraez and Buxton each got celebratory bottles of champagne.

Arraez is the top hitter in all of MLB at .348, with 100 hits, including 15 doubles one triple, four homers and 29 RBI in 278 at-bats over 78 games.

"This is amazing. It's a goal for everybody, especially for me. It's my first time I'm going, so I'm excited," Arraez said.

Buxton has played in 67 of the Twins’ 88 games, battling a knee issue since the first series of the season, and is hitting .215 with 11 doubles, two triples and a team-high 23 homers. Buxton, the No. 2 overall pick in 2012, is in his eighth season with the Twins.

"It’s cool, I get to enjoy that moment with my family. It’s a first for me, so just try to take in as much as I can. It’s definitely one of those days you won’t forget," Buxton said.

The Twins have a six-game home stand this week, with two against the Milwaukee Brewers and four against the Chicago White Sox, before heading into the All-Star break.